Coming Home: Fatherhood Following Release from Prison

Journal Name
Children and Youth Services Review
Journal Volume
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Finzi-Dottan, R. & Shraybom, H.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Resource Language

The present study aimed to assess the uniqueness of released prisoners’ paternal practice – their involvement in child rearing, as well as their affection toward and acceptance of their children – and its predictors by comparing them to control fathers who have never been arrested or imprisoned. Fifty-five married released prisoner fathers, and 55 control fathers completed the study questionnaires between September 2017 and April 2018. The predictors examined were: fathers’ narcissistic traits; perceived paternal competence; and spousal support. A comparison between the two groups revealed that released prisoners reported greater spousal support and lower acceptance of their children than control fathers. The interactions underscored the uniqueness of released prisoner fathers’ personality predictors, namely narcissistic traits: unlike the control fathers, the greater the narcissistic traits were, the less was their acceptance of and involvement with their children; and the higher the released prisoners' perceived paternal competence, the higher their involvement. The study further suggests that low spousal support contributed more to paternal involvement among fathers with high narcissistic traits. The results warrant an intervention while fathers are incarcerated, during which their paternity can be strengthened, and their bond with their children preserved. Family interventions upon fathers' reentry may also lend support to paternal practice, as well as to released prisoner fathers' relationships with their spouse/co-parent.                                              

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